The Movie Special

DVD Reviews 'n More


My first thought when I saw the title was that why has somebody made a movie about salmon fishing. The second thought was that they actually named the movie that. Was this movie as boring as its title? No, surprisingly Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is actually a heart-warming and well-executed movie. It is based on a novel by Paul Torday and was adapted to screen by Simon Beaufoy who also wrote Slumdog Millionaire. This movie has stellar performances from a superb cast and Lasse Hallstrom’s direction is solid.

What is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen all about? There is indeed salmon fishing happening and at the end of the movie the salmon fishing happens in the Yemen. But this movie is so much more than that. It’s about spirituality, hope and faith, and about the unexpected journey life can take you on. This movie’s message is that if you can dream that dream strong enough you can succeed.

We must have faith.

Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked) has a vision of bringing the sport of salmon fishing to the Yemen. When Dr. Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor) from the Department of Fisheries and Agriculture is approached by the Sheikh’s representative Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt) he tries his best to get rid of them, but the forces are working against Dr. Jones in the form of the Prime Minister’s press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) who is on the hunt for a feel-good story from the Middle-East. The trio embarks on a journey from Scotland to the Yemen like the three musketeers armed with fishing rods instead of muskets.

Like in all Lasse Hallstrom’s films there is heartbreak and sorrow through which hope and new love arises. McGregor’s Dr. Jones looks like a boring chap at first, but after a while you start seeing real humanity in the character. He is the opposite of Blunt’s Harriet, who is as optimistic as they come. Whatever obstacles Dr. Jones puts on her way she makes them disappear. Both Blunt and McGregor give strong performances.

Kristin Scott Thomas as the PM’s press secretary Patricia Maxwell steals the movie. She is perfect as the fast-talking spin-doctor – both at home and at the office. She is hilarious every time she strides into or out of a room, tent or garden. It’s so refreshing to see Scott Thomas to deliver a comedic performance.

Happy Birthday, Patricia!

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is set in three totally different locations, which are all connected by water – London, Scotland and the Yemen. The visual contrast of these landscapes provides a nice addition of depth to the story.

Dr. Jones has faith.

Is this a must-see movie? Probably not, but it’s thoroughly entertaining and it has real feel-good factor. It has laughs, it has tears and it does not delve too heavily into its subject matter – which can work both ways.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is like the little movie that could swim upstream!

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October 2012
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